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eXistenZ (1999)
lame.... as
9 March 2002
don't tell students of philosophy or descartian theory to see this film thinking that they will thank you for it...

it is lame, self-referential and uninspired... original in some ways, but none that really count

many other movies that better examine the idea of alternate realities
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Rope (1948)
i am amazed...
19 January 2002
It surprises me that i might read a negative review for this film anywhere on the internet, let alone imdb. If you dislike the picture that is of-course your right, but allow me to highlight some of the lighter moments of the film.

The film is shot in eight takes of almost ten minutes each, some takes cutting to other positions in the scene, most zooming in a dark area (i.e. back of someone's jacket) and then pulling back into the new take.

The film watches very much like a theatrical play might, one continuous scene. We begin with the murder itself, in the very first scene. We follow as the murderers justify the crime (for our sake) and outline their attempt at social elitism by inviting the victim's family for dinner over the deceased's resting/hiding place.

The lighting and sets are wonderful. Watch for the subtle changes in the backdrop through the apartment window, updated each time for each take bringing us through late afternoon into early evening. Watch for the lingering camera on the chest as the maid gradually removes items from the chest in order to store some books (we know something will prevent her, the story must go on, but in Hitchcock fashion we are kept on the edge of our seats). And almost as importantly listen to the dialogue. Dozens of witty references are thrown about, none the least of which is the homosexual reading of the film and the dialogue ("You are so queer", "I felt nothing at all, until the body went limp... at which time i experienced a sense of jubilation", you get the picture... it's delish).

I truely consider this one of Hitchcock's greatest, truely an experiment that came off, and a must see (and study) for fans of Hitch.
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Amélie (2001)
10 January 2002
This is an amazing movie...

I usually don't like "fantasy" movies, but this is a real gem. I came into is skeptical after enduring City of Lost Children, but the script is sharp and witty, the direction is clever and colourful, th lead actress Audrey Tautou is beautiful and inspired casting as Amelie Poulain....

I really can't recommend this movie enough. It will genuinely satisfy almost everybody who can read english subtitles. It manages comedy well past the half-way mark, the sign of a good comedy, it fetures a number of entriguing sub-plots, the sign of a good comedy, and doesn't play up the fact that there's a happy ending and most people get what they want/deserve.

I give it 9, only failing a perfect 10 because i personally (even though it's a fantasy) don't understand how these two people belong together, there seems to be no common ground for them except for the fact that they have both been looking for someone else. Am i alone? Does it make sense for two people who have only glaced at each other a few times to fall madly in love with each other? I dunno... anyway, don't let that stop you... see it... see it now!
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Blue Velvet (1986)
Typical Lynch drudgery....
22 December 2001
I must say that i am a David Lynch fan in the same way i am a Woody Allen film. I like their styles, i just can't enjoy their movies.

As far as DL is concerned, i think Lost Highway is without a doubt his best movie, and seems to be the only one that warrants repeat viewings.

I had high hopes for Blue Velvet after discussing my dissapointment with most of Lynch's other films. It was suggested i view it as it was one of his better ones.

It was strange, it was thoughtful, it was boring.

Yes... it's strange... just like all his other movies are. Yes... i'm sure there's a reason for the strangeness (although, after seeing parts of Firewalk with me i am no longer so certain), but i believe that most of the time it does not relate to the story, or in a larger sense, the narrative.

The acting is at times banal and at best bearable (not just during the light moments as some would have you believe). The dialoge (as with most other Lynch films) is difficult and unpolished. The direction is probably the best part of this film, indeed the lighting and imagery are pleasing. But my philosophy has always been that a good movie requires a good plot... and this one is pretty weak.

With Lynch's recent efforts (im thinking in particular here of The Straight Story) it seems that he is no longer the elite filmmaker some would like you to believe... just a man able to make the films he wants, whether they are interesting or not.
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Eraserhead (1977)
It's an hour too long...
22 December 2001
There is nothing about this movie that needed an hour and a half to accomplish other than bore me...

David, if you aren't going to do anything, why waste our time (let alone film!).... better this was cut down to about half an hour and run as an interesting short film.

There i've said it.
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don't believe what you hear... this movie is much much worse...
5 December 2001
a departure from the hollywood norm this movie certainly is not

don't believe what you hear about this movie

even soderbergh's typically stylish and inventive direction can save this movie, it is simply appauling

fans of julia roberts will love it
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this movie is not bad.... give it a chance...
12 August 2001
a huge fan of the original (and the following sequels), i came into this movie hoping to like it. luckily i was impressed straight up with the costumes and the sound effects especially... they really have an impact.

the ape world that burton creates is similar to the original, humans are slaves to apes, the exception in this case is that the humans can speak...

after a number of in-jokes for die hard fans and guest cameo's etc, the movie settles in to tell it's story... with the original movie giving it's shock ending, i wasn't sure where the answers would come from, but the script was wonderfully inventive with the matter it had to work with. a number of different aspects are explored in this movie that were covered across the entire apes series.

and so is it any good? i think, if you liked the original movie and the series then you'd find it interesting to watch just to see what they did with the story. if you don't what all the fuss is about, perhaps don't bother... i don't think this would work as a movie on it's own...

interestingly, a lot of people seem confused about the ending, stating it doesn't make sense. i agree... there are no "clues" given about as to why the movie ends that way, so just run with it... enjoy the irony, laugh at the audacity and unfullfilled expectations and sit back and wait for inevitable sequel ;)
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Brainscan (1994)
Hmmmm, delish
14 September 2000
This movie is the cream of the crop of B-grade movies. This seems to be a follow on from Terminator II which stars Edward Furlong as a starring role, the producers loving it because he's "Hot" apparently, and Edward loving it because it's about him.

This kid is sent the latest in video game technology, an interactive VR experience which sees him kill another human being, the catch being he's not allowed to leave any witness's or clues. You guessed it, it turns out to be real, and he is suspected for murder.

The only way he can clear his name is to keep playing the game and try to cover his tracks, but move bodies pile up until it's all just too much for a sixteen year old to bare.

The preformances are all top notch, except for the main ten actors, it's surprisingly watchable if it's late and there's nothing else on. The villan, a cyber-spook called the "Trickster" is supposed to be sinister, despite outbursts of comic relief behaviour, such as dancing around the boys bedroom to Primus' "Welcome to this world".

Overall a good effort, and like i said, it's the cream of the B-grade crop.
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The Omen (1976)
A classic
14 September 2000
I've recently undertaken a quest to see the "classic" movies that i've heard are classics, but never been particularly interested in.

The Omen is one such movie. Everybody knows the "Damien" jokes and stuff, Southpark recently spoofed the theme, but i'd never seen the movie, and it didn't disappoint.

The story begins with the birth of a child, not the parent's own, but given to them as it were. Little did they know it was the son of the devil. Time passes and things seem fine until a truely shocking scene involving the death of the families nanny. This movie was made years ago, and i'm not stranger to violence and suspence in film, but this was completely unexpected and genuinely shocking (bare in mind it was late and i was pretty tired).

The rest of the movie followed some lines would be considered cliche, but at the time it would have been a pretty big movie, and doesn't at all disappoint in the current environment.

Gregory Peck does a fine job as the father despirate to save his family and the photographer roped into the investigation does a good job at keeping it reasonably believeable.

Overall a great film, check it out.
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Wonderland (1999)
22 May 2000
A lot of people have been saying that this film is "warm" and "wonderful". This movie is nothing but a string of characters that we already know doing things we've already seen.

Comparisons have been made between this film and others such as "Short Cuts" or "Magnolia" which use a similar style of storytelling (i.e. many intertwining stories), but i've just got to say it. This film is vastly inferere.

Watching the film, i enjoyed the opening section. Then i simply stopped caring for the middle section. The final section cleared things up slightly, but i really felt that these were people i didn't care about because their stories (whilst in the context of real life would be quite interesting) seem less than dull on a big screen.

I'm not baging this film, it's better than a lot of the others that were showing at the same time, but overall it's weak and ultimately pointless....
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20 Dates (1998)
What's wrong with you people?
18 October 1999
A lot of people i know didn't like this movie, but i really enjoyed it. Does this mean i'm wrong? Not at all.

As egotistical as that sounds, it's true. Some people saw Myles as annoying, but i saw him as charming and focused. Some people saw this film as being a "mockumentary", but we were assured that it was real. If it was real, then what's the problem? It was still good! And if it was fake, then who cares? I was entertained, and the movie left me feeling good about myself.

I'm not usually into movies about dating, because to be honest, they're dead boring, but this movie injected life in to a dead genre. DATING MOVIES THAT ARE ACTUALLY GOOD.
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French in Action (1987– )
Nice, very nice.
4 October 1999
This is supposed to be a learning tool for people who want to learn to speak French. The only problem is that the entire series was in French, thus you need to be able to speak it before you can learn it.

So is it worth watching? Hell yes! This loser American runs around like a... loser, and the French babe runs around in tight shirts with no bra!

Trying to follow the "storyline" makes this series funny, and all the time the characters actions are being analysed and commented on by this crazy looking professor.

The series is funny to watch, and the girl alone makes it worth checking out.
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35 Up (1991 TV Movie)
Carry on "Up!"
2 August 1999
This was the first of the UP series that has since led onto 42 UP. for anybody who doesn't know, the series was created to document childrens attitudes and behaviour over the years. The first was entitled 7 Up (the children were 7) and ever since, every seven years the film makers return into the peoples lives to see what has changed since the last film.

The combination of the series of films from the past is interesting. We are shown what the subjects had to say seven years ago (i.e. their hopes and dreams, expectations for the future) and we actually see if the carried out those actions. One of the highlights is a section where we are shown footage from the original 7 Up, where the children were allowed to play in an adventure playground. And after seeing the lifestyle of a builder for example we are shown footage of him building a playhouse, etc.

I watched an interview of the film maker shortly after seeing 35 Up, in which he admitted that 35 Up seemed to have a very down, gloomy feeling to it. A lot of the "subjects" were at a stage in their lives when their parents were dying and various challenges were facing them.

The part of the movie that people can really sink their teeth into is one of the "subjects" who's life has taken an extremely interesting path. He developed (possibly because of his involvement in the Up series?) a number of personality disorders, and has found it difficult to lead normal life.

The film 28 Up saw him homeless and hiking his way across Britain. 35 Up sees him in a small abode, with a job, but still having difficulties in functioning normally.

The entire series is an extremely interesting project, that the subjects are lucky to have been involved in. The viewers find themselves helplessly drawn to the people and we actually start to care about what happens to them.

35 Up though is of particular interest, for this movie sets up the crossroads that most of them are undertaking. The future of the series looks like it will be extremely healthy.
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Go beyond the valley of the dolls, go as far as you can!
25 May 1999
This movie is great. It is a masterpiece from someone who we wouldn't expect masterpieces from. Russ Meyers was the king of porn, and he decided to sign a deal with 20th century fox for a three picture deal (he only made two before returning to porn). The first was "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" which was intended to be a sequel to "Valley of the Dolls" which was also made by 20th century fox, about three 'clean-cut' girls who discover showbiz and become hooked on uper's and downer's (truly heart warming stuff!). After viewing this movie, i saw Russ Meyers movie "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls", which is full of nudity, sex, and violence (not exactly "Beaches" material). So i saw this movie after "Valley of the Dolls" which i think is the best way to see it. It brings out more of the humour and subtle differences.

It is easy to see that the movie was based on Valley of the Dolls, but with a classic Russ Meyers touch, a pornographic-like story line. We've all seen them (any long-term Meyers fan has), and they always have a big breasted girl, and black girl and sometimes some lesbians. Well guess what! Dolls has a large breasted girl, a black girl and another girl who becomes... a lesbian.

This movie does contain lots of nudity and sex, but it's definitely not pornographic. Apart from the obvious differences, the dialogue in this movie is very cool, and the editing is superb! Imagine a cross between "Beaches", "Pulp Fiction" and any porno movie, and you've got this movie. The scenes are cut together extremely quickly, with no unnecessary pause between lines. Russ must have written a ton of dialogue for this movie because despite the quick-shot editing it goes for about two hours!

You wanna know how he did it? Well the writing credits for this movie include none other than the popular movie critic, Roger Ebert! He got together with Russ to write this movie because he had given favourable reviews for Meyer's earlier porn films. Since this movie, Ebert has co-written a couple of Meyers films, none of which i have seen.

This probably makes me out to be a porn freak, right? Wrong. This is the only Russ Meyers film that i have seen, and the only one i want to see, but this movie does have something that others don't. And if i told you, then everyone would know, and we couldn't have that could we? Everybody over sixteen and under twenty-five should see this movie.
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Anyone for Russ Myers?
25 May 1999
This movie was on a cable movie channel that has a feature of showing horror movies, especially ones with sex, drugs and gore. So i was surprised when i saw that they were playing this movie about three 'clean-cut' girls and their flirtations with drugs. This movie is not exactly in the horror vein at all, but it was followed by Russ Myers non-pornographic masterpiece, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, so then i understood.

Valley of the Dolls, ("Dolls" referring to the uper's and downer's that they take) is a silly movie, that over dramatises the characters predicaments. In Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, people attempt suicide etc. because their lives really are terrible. In Valley of the Dolls how ever, the characters lives are hardly as grief-filled as their counterparts.

Russ Myers, "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" was intended to be a sequel to Valley to the Dolls, but eventually the script ended up being nothing like the original, and since there was soo much sex and gratuitous nudity, the writer of the original Valley of the Dolls started getting nasty letters, accusing her of losing her way and writing what was perceived as a sequel intended for fans of her movie (Despite there being a rather obvious warning at the begining of the film that it was no relation to Valley of the Dolls, and the original writer was not involved whatsoever).

So if you liked Valley of the Dolls, good luck to you. If you didn't (and your under 25 or so), check out Russ Myers classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
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Crapston Villas (1995– )
Not crap!
18 May 1999
Crapston villas is a very funny, clamation series, which is a cross between "Wallace and Grommit" and "Gogs". The characters use somewhat foul language abut are well designed. As always the clamation aspect gives it a "little kiddy" feeling, but it all makes for more fun.
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Great job!
18 May 1999
I have seen the kids in the hall tv show it to me it seemed lame. I was surprised to see that this movie was hilarious! I figure that the restrictions on time and set etc. for the tv show cramped the kids and when they made this movie they obviously had plenty of time on their hands. I was not a fan of the television show, but after seeing this movie i may reconsider.
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Gogs (1994– )
Gogs rocks!
18 May 1999
The "Gogs" are a prehistoric family that interact with dinosaurs etc. on a daily basis. They are like a prehistoric 'Simpsons' only less like 'The Flintstones' and more like 'Ren and Stimpy'. Confused? Don't be. The Gogs are entertaining, and gross at the same time. The guy who continuously blows snot bubbles from his nose seems to have no other purpose, but this is what makes it fun. The clymation adds a textured feel that is sometimes missing in slick animation/computer generated programs.
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The Ticket (1995)
That's the ticket!
18 May 1999
I love short films, and this one was great, partly because the storyline suited a short film. It was short because the storyline was, and the storyline wasn't short because the movie was. It was well balanced, and well directed.

Thumbs up, check this one out!
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Secrets and lies.
18 May 1999
The Americans deserve to remake this movie. The Japanese version has Godzilla winning the winner takes all (literally) battle. But when the Americans heard about it, they bought the rights, reshot the ending and made King Kong victor... just because he was from an island that was in America! I guess they deserve this small victory. If taking this action and spoiling an artists vision is all they want, then i guess we'll call it even on the 'saving the world' front.

American film makers showed just how stuck-up and competitive they were when they changed this movie. If the American version is on the multiplex or at the video store - don't get it.
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This film should leave Las Vegas and come over here!
13 May 1999
What a great movie.

I love the way that it has lots of huge names in the film, and the script is great, the directing is great, and still it doesn't follow the usual formula of mainstream film-making.

Lots of people have seen this film, but it's not exactly the most popular film in the world. It is a shining example of how movies should be made.
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7 May 1999
(What's with the Steve Martin fans who write one line descriptions of 90min movies? That's less than one word a minute!)

This movie is funny. It stars Steve Martin, and it is funny. It involves a bunch of guys who play three, hero, mexican amigos in the movies, and when a villager of a small town writes them a letter asking them to put on a show and stop a local "troublemaker" (I can't think of a better word), they mistake it for a movie offer. Little do they know that the script is real and so are the bullets.

The laughs are frequent and substanstial. A great movie.
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Caddyshack (1980)
Contains me new favourite line of dialogue, ever!
7 May 1999
(Again, somebody disapoints thousands with a one-line description!)

Caddyshack! Say no more, switch it on, switch it on often. Everytime it's on the tube, watch it, tape it and then watch it again and again and again until the tape breaks. When the tape does break, go to the video store, hire it and then watch it and watch it until it breaks.

I can't say enough good things about this film, and while it still has the predictable sporting ending, i really like it. Fans of 'Happy Gilmore' who aren't fans of Adam Sandler will like this movie.

(And if you have a nose, and tonsils then you'll like this movie too! I hate it when people say things like that. "If you were born in a hospital or otherwise you'll like this movie." Thanks! can you be a bit more vague?)
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Two guys, a wardrobe and a beach
7 May 1999
Despite the English title sounding a lot like a recent sitcom, it is a short, very early film by the master of early film making, Roman Polanski. I saw this on a documentary on Polanski late last year (1998), and i thought it was kinda funny, in a queer way. It is, of-course in Polish, so i don't know what happened exactly on the movie, but i can talk about the style on the feel of the movie.

It looks as if it was made when film was just starting to get it right, (even though it was 1958!). It probably cost a fortune for him to make, since he was still a nobody at this time. The movie starts with these two guys on a beach, and they are struggling to carry this enormous wardrobe. The scenery and the props as i just mentioned don't seem to go together, and the result is pretty funny. Watching these guys trip in the sand carrying a huge wardrobe is like watching someone push a shopping trolley down the isle of a movie theatre, you watch it and just sorta... laugh!

The two guys eventually meet some other people, and then dialogue became involved so i got lost again. So what i'm trying to say is that if you're a die-hard fan of Roman Polanski, you still probably won't like this short, black and white movie...

But i've seen something you haven't, I've seen something you haven't, i've seen something you haven't...
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This movie rocks.
26 April 1999
When I was a young lad, my parents saw this movie in a bargain bin for about $5, and bought it for me. I must have seen it about a thousand times, and I know all the dialogue by heart (even the parts I didn't understand when i was a kid). This movie is about an unlikely hero, who is picked to fight an intergalactic battle, and how was he found? Well this guy made a video game simulation of the battle that was taking place in outer space, and sent it across the universe. Of course this kid just happened to have the skills needed to defeat the video game, and kill the virtual bad guys. When a guy in a flying car (this is literally where Back to the Future Prt II got it from) he is told that the game is not only a video simulation, but also a test, and now he must leave his family and join the Star League and become a 'Starfighter'.

I enjoyed this movie immensely when I was a kid. For me it holds the same cult status as 'The Blues Brothers', and now when I watch it, it seems as good today as it did 15 years ago.

When compared to today's high-quality graphics and effects, this movie may seem a little lame, and it is, but when I consider that this movie was one of the first to use complete computer graphical effects, it makes me think "Wow, that was a great movie".

So if you see it now, you may not think it's as great as I have made it out to be... but your kids are gonna love it.
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